So, the other day my long-distance long-time long-lovin' friend Olivia sent me a message on Ye Olde Facebook entitled, "Blogging like woah!" Which, can we all just nod in agreement that "Blogging like woah!" is a great message title? Well, the author of said title has laid claim to her own little corner of the bloggosphere over at Clearly Mysterious. Now, let me tell you, this girl has some writing skills, and if you give her a New York minute to find her groove, I can guarantee this blog will be... like... woah! Seriously.
So, in this cleverly titled facebook message, Olivia told me that she wanted some blogging advice from the most creative, talented, fearless, inspirational - not to mention drop-dead gorgeous - blogger she knows.
And since she wasn't available, Olivia asked me.
Oh, I slay myself.
As I crafted my response to her, I began to realize that while I could give a quick synopsis on how I blog, I really have no idea why I blog. The problem, of course, is that often the how and the why are so intertwined, it's difficult to tell where one stops and the other starts. Thus began my week-long attempt to define my blog.
While I still don't believe I have an exhaustive definition or explanation of my12hats, here is what I have discovered so far... In list format, no less...
How I blog...
1. First of all, I get a lot of inspiration from other bloggers. I have thirty (34!) blogs in my google reader, which I check every day. Some days, I read each and every one of them. Most days, I hit the top five or so. These blogging gals (and a couple guys) really challenge and inspire me. If it weren't for their influence, y'all would probably be reading about my cleaning list each week.
2. I have developed what has been affectionately termed "blogger's brain." I can't tell you how many times in a day some random, seemingly innocuous event happens and I think "this would make a great blog post!" This "ability" has proven quite useful and is the source of many of my posts. Of course, the problem naturally occurs wherein I live my life through the lens of entertainment, where any event that isn't worth blogging about isn't worth living. Perhaps that is an over exaggeration, but the truth is that there are times when I have to set it all aside for a while and remind myself that this blog is not the most important thing in my life and there are things about which I may never blog - like the feel of my daughter's hand on my face, or the sight of my husband hunched over his Bible - but which are moments that are totally worth living and remembering.
3. Write as if a stranger you love is reading. I know this sounds weird, but it's honestly what I think as I write many of my posts. "Someday my great, great grandchildren might read these little stories. What do I want them to know about me and my life?" This filter has given me the boldness to write about things which I might never have dared to discuss in public before. It has also helped me to tone down any drama, language, or questionable material I might consider putting on here from time to time.
4. Editing is for newspapers and authors. I know, I KNOW, there are some hard-core bloggers out there that would heartily disagree with me on this point, but if I try to triple proof-read every word and super analyze every sentence, well, lets just say my12hats would be one big empty pot o' nuthin right about now. Folks have sense enough to know you meant "there" when you wrote "their," and the ones that get their panties in a bunch about it... well... they're free to write all about it in their own little bloggo.
Now for the why...
1. I write for me. That's it. I would love to tell you that I write so my girls will have wonderful little stories to read about their childhood. I would love to say that I just do it for the love of blogging. I would love to say that I hope to minister to some lost soul through my writing.
But here's the honest truth: I like to write. I like to go back and re-read the stuff that I have written in the past. I like the way words sound when read aloud, and I love the way they look on a page. When I go back to those old journal entries from that 18-year-old version of me so many years ago, I feel like I am meeting with old friends... remembering the past with rose-colored glasses... laughing at my old dramatic flair... seeing how far the Lord has brought me from there...
2. I blog for the comments. I like comments. How's that for honesty? I wish I didn't like them. I wish I could write those words without coming across as needy. But sometimes I write about some gut-wrenching, soul-searching, paradigm-shifting stuff on this little blog. Every now and then, it's cathartic to put myself completely out there, completely exposed, completely vulnerable... and for someone to say "I understand and I approve." I know it's needy. I know I shouldn't want man's approval and blah blah blah... but comments tell me that someone in the world is feeling what I'm feeling... understanding where I'm coming from... identifying with my emotions. And I need that connection, especially with other women, every once in a while.
So, yeah, those are pretty selfish reasons to blog, and the answer to the "why" question was a difficult one, no doubt. But, well, there it is...
So, my dear Olivia, I am fairly certain that nothing I have written in this post will even remotely begin to help you find inspiration for your new blog. But, I have to tell you: your facebook message has provided me with ample brain food and blogging material this week. Thank you kindly. I'm much obliged.
And to those of you who are just reading my blog for the heck of it... scoot on over to Olivia's bloggy and give her some comment love. It's hard to start this whole blogging thing, and we blogger babes gotta stick together, yo.